DEED announces $5 million grant round for community energy transition funding


October 18, 2023

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced a $5 million grant round for eligible communities facing fossil fuel power plant closures to help them craft and deploy economic growth strategies after the power plants close.

DEED’s Energy Transition Grant Program is designed to help so-called “energy transition communities” weather initial economic challenges after power plants close so they can eventually take full advantage of the post-fossil fuel clean-energy economy.

“Moving away from fossil fuels provides ample benefits for Minnesotans: cleaner air, long-term economic opportunities in green jobs, lower energy costs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change. But we know that as plants close, energy transition communities also face initial economic uncertainly,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “It is essential that these communities have the support they need to get through their transitions. Minnesota is stronger when our communities thrive – and DEED embraces our responsibility to help communities as they move to a more sustainable energy system and a cleaner economy.”

The Energy Transition Grant Program helps communities address the economic and social impact of a power plant’s closure. It provides funds for researching, planning and implementing activities designed to:

• assist workers at the plant find new employment, including worker retraining and developing small business start-up skills;

• increase the community’s property tax base;

• develop alternative economic development strategies to attract new employers to the community; and

• produce site readiness plans, land use studies and long-term economic planning and impact studies.

It also activates Minnesota's Environmental Quality Board to reimburse some costs associated with helping communities address regulatory issues, provide consultation on technical and regulatory challenges and educate the community on transitions.

“The transition to green energy is vital for the Minnesotans’ long-term health, environmental quality and economic prosperity,” said Carla Vita, Director of DEED’s Energy Transition Office. “The Energy Transition Grant Program ensures communities moving away from fossil fuels will be ready to capture these benefits. We’re proud to partner with local governments around the state at this important moment in Minnesota’s economic and ecological history.”

Eligible communities include counties, municipalities or tribal communities with power plants (fueled by coal, natural gas or nuclear energy) that are scheduled to close, recently closed or due to have their operating license expire soon. DEED has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for communities interested in applying for an Energy Transition grant. A webinar for communities will take place October 19 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. Find out how DEED delivers for Minnesota by visiting the DEED website,, or follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter).


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